Blue, purple, & gold...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The other day, I saw an awesome makeup look on one of my favorite makeup blogs. The colors were just fantastic - and I would never have thought to combine them. The original look was so dramatic that I knew I'd never be able to pull it off, but I thought perhaps I could do a more subdued version...

It's not nearly as pretty as the original, but it turned out better than I expected. When I look at the shadows with my eyes closed, I think it looks a bit like a bruise - so maybe the darker, more dramatic colors are needed. LOL! I think I may buy the colors she used...and I'm not going to link to her look because she is so talented she puts my puny attempt to shame.  :-)


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My search for a few cute little dresses to take on vacation is not going well.

I have looked everywhere. Macy's, Dillards, Gap, Banana Republic, Boston Proper, Athleta, JCPenney, Bealls, Old Navy, Target, Kohl's...I'm so desperate that I even looked at Sears.

I just want simple dresses - something cotton or stretchy, a sheath or something similar - something that I can just pop on to wear out to eat or sightsee while on vacation. Nothing fancy. I think I waited too long to look because it seems like everything like that is gone from the stores.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

I'm so desperate that I'm ready to head to the fabric store to buy a pattern and fabric so that I can just make them myself. And I really don't want to do that...


New favorite makeup brushes

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I have a lot of makeup brushes. How many is a lot? Since Gus reads this, let's just say it's more than 20. :-)

We all have our favorite brushes - the ones we reach for everyday - the ones we're sure to pack when we go on vacation. Right? I have about 10-12 that I use on a regular basis.

But I have four new favorites!! Three of them are new purchases and the other is one for which I have found new uses. Here they are:

From top to bottom:

506 Circular foundation brush - commonly referred to as a "skunk" brush because of the black/white color. It's similar to the $42 MAC 187 Duofibre brush. I only paid $11.20 for mine (on sale - reg. price is $16). I'm planning on picking up at least one more. I don't use mine for foundation - I use it for applying blush and bronzer. I also like it for applying finishing powders. It allows you to apply in small amounts & you can layer for more coverage/color.

Chisel crease brush - this one is similar to the $20 MAC 224 tapered blending brush. I only paid $7.50 (on sale - reg. price is $10). This one is sooooo nice for blending!! I use it to blend above the crease with the browbone area. It's so soft and doesn't muddy the colors.

High definition contour brush - I don't think MAC has a brush like this one, but it's basically a smaller, more dense version of the chisel crease brush. I only paid $11.55 for mine (on sale - reg. price $16.50). I like to use this one to apply & blend crease colors. it has a little more of a "point", so you can get into the crease with it.

500 Small concealer brush - this one is similar to the $19.50 MAC 194 concealer brush, but I only paid $5.25. (on sale - reg. price $7). This one is the best concealer brush I've ever used. I like it better than my taklon concealer brushes.

If you're wondering where I bought my brushes, they're some of the ones that I sell at IFP when I do special orders. But this is my personal blog, and I'm not trying to sell brushes. I just wanted to share these with you because they make applying makeup so much easier and I like them so much. I bet you can find similar Sonia Kashuk brushes at Target.

What are your favorite makeup brushes?

Own that ponytail - work that updo!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I can't remember whether or not I've posted this before - but it's so funny, I don't care, LOL! No matter how many times I watch this, it makes me laugh.

"Don't be insecure, girl - own that ponytail - work that updo!"

Have a great weekend!!

Who doesn't love shopping?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I've been doing a bit of shopping for fall/winter clothes/shoes/accessories - and I've found some great deals!

Two of my recent purchases were a pair of boots and a handbag. I bought them both at JCPenney - and saved $78.18!!

The boots are this brownish-grey/taupe color and have a distressed look. I love the color & style, they look awesome with jeans, and they're comfortable! They were originally $90, but I paid $49.99! Woot!!

I fell in love with the bag because it's big & slouchy - and the color is soooo pretty! I'm vertically-challenged & easily overwhelmed by large bags, but this one is perfect. And it weighs next to nothing. Well, it weighs next to nothing when it's empty.  :-)

It actually a bit darker than it appears in the photos. It's such a versatile color that it goes with black, brown, & grey. I have my eye on a similar style in an eggplant/plum color. This bag was originally $70, but I only paid $31.83! Double woot!!

Have any of you started shopping for fall/winter? Have you found any great deals?

The Starlette - Naughty Neutral

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just a super-quick look I did using one of my Too Faced "The Quickie Chronicles" palettes. "The Starlette" is a neutral palette and one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I don't know the names of any of the shadows or lipglosses. I don't know if they even sell these anymore! LOL!

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

Zoya is so clever!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Have you guys heard of the new Zoya nail polish spoons?? I think they are one of the most clever things I've ever seen! And the perfect way to sample nail polish!

If you haven't seen them yet, here's the deal:
They are little clear plastic spoons, and the bowl of the spoon has been painted with the nail polish. So not only can you see the actual color of the polish (because we all know it almost never looks the same in the bottle as it does on our nails), but you can also turn the spoon over and place the bowl of the spoon over one of your nails to see how the color looks on you!! How freakin' clever is that??

 (btw - this color is Willow)

But wait - there's more!

The spoon samples are $.50 each - but don't despair. They ship for free (or you can pay $2 for expedited shipping) - and you receive a code that can be used on your next Zoya order, and it's worth the full value of the sample spoons you ordered! So if you order 10 spoons, you will receive a code that is worth $5 off your next Zoya polish purchase!

My samples:

colors L to R: Willow, Elodie, Cassi, Corrine, Madison, Paige

colors L to R: Sunny, Jordana, Emme, Maya

These are the free samples that were included with my order:

colors L to R: Edyta, Julieanne, Cheryl, Karina, Carrie Ann, Kym

colors L to R: Kelly, Stacy, Burke, Kristi, Cola, Shawn

My favorites from the samples I ordered: Willow, Cassi
For summer, I like: Elodie, Maya
From the Wicked & Wonderful samples, I like: Burke (and I think Kym would be great for fall/winter parties)

I think I'm going to use my credit voucher to buy Burke since it's such a pretty fall color!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yes, yes - I've been missing in action again...but this time it's all Gus's fault.

Last week, Gus had some issues with one of his teeth, and made an appointment to see the dentist on Monday. Then on Friday, the tooth really started bothering him. Actually, it was so bad that he couldn't chew and had to get prescription pain meds.

So I spent the weekend babying taking care of Gus.

On Monday, I went to the dentist with him, where we found out that he needed a root canal & crown. Since the dentist thought it might be pretty involved, he wanted Gus to go to an endodontist for the root canal. Gus was a bit nervous since he's scared of the dentist never had any dental work done. I told him that once the root canal was done, the only pain he would feel would be in his wallet.

On Tuesday, I went to the endodontist with him. This guy was good - Gus had no pain and was finished in about 20-30 minutes. But...the tooth has a hairline fracture in it, so he still can't chew on that side until the crown is put on...and the dentist won't do the crown for 10 days because he wants to make sure the root canal "worked". So back Gus'll go in 10 days...for a temporary crown. Then 2 weeks after that he'll go back for the permanent crown. Did I mention that the dentist's office (and the endodontist's office) is a 45 minute drive - each way?

Today he went back to work. Wednesday is normally my cleaning day - but today I spent most of it playing catch-up from the past 4 days. So all of those blog posts I had planned for the weekend & early this week? Well, they didn't get posted. I promise I'll get to them ASAP!!

Asian Coleslaw

Monday, September 13, 2010

Our street had a party this weekend, and one of our neighbors made Asian coleslaw. I usually don't like coleslaw, but this one looked so tasty, I decided to give it a try. It was delicious!! So delicious, in fact, that I bought the ingredients and made some yesterday! It's not the healthiest coleslaw due to the sugar & oil, so I'm going to try to find a healthier version that is just as tasty. In the meantime, I used a "healthier" vegetable oil blend. I didn't think of it at the time, or I would've used stevia instead of the sugar.

Asian Coleslaw

2 pkgs. (3 oz. size) oriental-flavor ramen noodles
16 oz. coleslaw mix
1 c. sunflower kernels
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. white vinegar

Crush the ramen noodles and place them in the bottom of a large bowl (save the flavor packets to use later).  Top with coleslaw mix and sunflower kernels.

Whisk together contents from flavor packets, sugar, oil, and vinegar. Pour over slaw. Cover and chill for 24 hours (or at least overnight). Toss before serving.

Makes about eight 1 cup servings.

(adapted from Asian Coleslaw recipe by tastyrachel

Thoughts: I think if the ramen noodles were precooked, rather than relying on the liquid in the coleslaw to soften them, you could reduce the amount of oil - possibly replacing some of it with water since the flavor packets are used. Using stevia or erythritol instead of sugar and using a healthier oil would also increase the "healthy" factor.

Does anyone have a healthier version? If I find one, I'll be sure to post it!

Berry Hpnotic

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gus and I stopped by the liquor store this weekend where we picked up a few new beers to try. I was mesmerized by all of the little "airplane" bottles of booze, decided to try some new stuff, and had a really hard time limiting myself to just five...

I ended up with:

I decided to use the Hpnotiq and Absolut Raspberri for my first test - but of course, I tasted them straight before doing any mixing. Hpnotiq is very good - I love the fruit flavor. For those who aren't familiar with Hpnotic - it's a liqueur that contains fruit juice, vodka, and cognac. I think this is something that I would use a lot because I love fruity drinks. The Absolut Raspberri is awesome, too - I need to make a raspberry cosmo with some fresh frozen raspberries.

I found a recipe for "Berry Hpnotiq" on the Hpnotiq website, so I did my own version of that.
1 oz. Hpnotiq
1 oz. Absolut Raspberri
lemon-lime soda

Oh. My. Gosh. It was delicious. I will be buying larger bottles of both Hpnotiq and Absolut Raspberri. This drink is dangerous because you can't really taste the booze. I really, really like it!

I do apologize for the lack of fancy drinkware, elegant presentation, etc. I guess if I'm going to blog about booze, I need to step it up a notch, huh? On the other hand, if I call it booze, is there really any reason to pretty it up?  ;-)

Cool makeup kits

Monday, September 6, 2010

I've seen several makeup kits lately that I think are pretty neat. I'm sure I'll end up buying one or more of them, LOL!

Cargo has a kit called "7 in 7" - the tag line is "7 Products that get you gorgeous and ready to go in 7 minutes!". 

There are three full-size kits - each $59 (value $155) - available in light/medium, warm/medium, & deep/medium.
Each kit includes:

  • OneBase™ (02):  A double-duty wonder - concealer and foundation in one!  Use it to spot conceal and blend it out like a foundation to match your natural skin tone.
  • Essential Palette (Warm Neutral):  The perfect shades for a classic, sculpted, nude eye.  This must-have palette contains four graduated neutral shades, each debossed with its function for ease of application.
  • Eye liner (Brown):  CARGO Eye Liner promises a smooth, even application every time, without skipping.
  • Better-than-waterproof™ Mascara:  This everyday mascara performs like a waterproof one without smudging or running, yet comes off easily with warm water and gentle pressure.
  • BeachBlush™ (Sunset Beach):  The perfect marriage of blush and bronzer.  This double-duty best-seller is a combination of four complementary shades for the perfect blush and bronzer, all in one.
  • Reverse Lip Liner (01):  The ONLY lip liner for gloss!  Line your lips from the outside in with this flesh-toned liner.  The result:  added definition, reduced feathering, and a fuller-looking lip.
  • (NEW!) Classic Gloss with Timestrip® Technlogy (Tobago):  CARGO's award-winning, non-sticky lip gloss packaged in a convenient wand with Timestrip® technology to monitor the freshness of your gloss.
There are also three mini kits - each $39 - available in light/medium, warm/medium, & deep/medium.

Each set includes the following:
  • OneBase™ - A foundation and concealer in one! - Use OneBase™ to spot conceal in key facial areas. Blend out to a flawless complexion.
  • Mini Essential Palette - The perfect eye shadows for a classic, sculpted, nude eye make-up. This must have palette contains four shades graduating shades of neutral eye shadow, each embossed with it's function  - browbone, lid, crease, outer corner - for easy application.
  • Mini Eye Liner - A smooth, even application without skipping
  • Mini LashActivator™ - A proven formula for better looking lashes in only 30 days!- This lash-enhancing complex is revolutionary mascara that stimulates growth of lash follicles, promotes lash vitality and reduces lash loss. LashActivator™ is clinically proven to boost the appearance of the lashes by 169% over the natural rate of growth.
  • Mini BeachBlush - The perfect marriage of blush and bronzer - This double duty best-seller is a combination of four complimentary shades for the perfect blush and bronzer all in one.
  • Mini Reverse Lip Liner - The only liner for gloss!- Line your lips from the outside in with this flesh-toned lip liner. The result: added definition, reduced feathering and fuller looking lips.
  • Mini Classic Gloss - CARGO's iconic lip gloss is a celebrity and make-up artist favorite. This non-sticky gloss is a vitamin-enriched, Paraben-free formula designed to nourish lips.
I think the mini-kits would be great for travel! And I should clarify that these aren't really "new" because they debuted back in the spring - but I didn't see them then, LOL. It looks like Sephora no longer has them - but I found them on as well as

I like the look of  these Benefit palettes, too!

Scene Queen, the new Annie collection:

which contains:
- 0.1 oz Coralista, coral-pink cheek powder with mini natural-bristle brush
- 0.09 oz High Beam, luminescent complexion enhancer
- 0.18 oz Juicy Coral, lip shine
- Smokin' Liner, eyeliner
- 4 x 0.1 oz eyeshadows in Charcoal, Shimmering Beige, Misty Blue, and Navy
- 2 Fluff Shadow/Hard Angle Brushes
- Step-By-Step Makeup Lesson

(I just saw that Marlena reviewed this palette on MUG - read her review here!)

And Sunday Funday, the new Maggie collection:

which contains:
- 0.1 oz Hoola, bronzing powder with mini natural-bristle brush
- 0.09 oz Benetint, rose-tinted lip & cheek stain
- 0.18 oz Shimmering Rose, lip shine
- 0.01 oz Toasty Liner, eyeliner
- 4 x 0.1 oz eyeshadows in Smimmering Bronze, Pink Satin, Light Champagne, and Pretty In Plum
- 2 Fluff Shadow/Hard Angle Brushes
- Step-By-Step Makeup Lesson

The Benefit palettes are $38 each at

Has anyone tried any of these kits? I'd love to hear some reviews!

Great deals!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

If you love Ann Taylor Loft, run, run, RUN to their website and check out the sale items! If you use the code LABORDAY40, you can take an extra 40% off the sale prices!

I just bought jeans for $17.99 a pair!! They have a ton of sizes (even petite & tall!), styles, & washes. I nabbed a tank for $2.99, too! Even with the $8.95 shipping charge, I saved $17 off the sale prices and $93 off the original prices!!

Gotta love a great sale!!

P.S. Don't forget to go through eBates to get 3% of your purchase price back!!

Cat Island Ambiance

Sorry the posts have been few & far between lately! I've had a few health issues, but I'm feeling better now, so I hope to be back to blogging more regularly!

Here's a recent neutral/gray look that I did:

Have a great weekend, everyone!